Posts Tagged
‘waste management’

In a fast urbanizing country like India, where freshwater is scarce, waste water treatment is critical.To address surface water quality challenges in quickly increasing and emerging cities, state and non-state entities have gradually shifted their attention to new innovative wastewater management systems. Wastewater Treatment usually includes three basic stages, which are known as primary, secondary and tertiary. Each stage purifies water to a higher level. In certain cases, just one or two phases are required. The level of treatment required is determined by the intended use of the water and the environment into which it will be discharged.

Waste can be defined as discarded and useless materials which do not possess any value. Solid waste is generated from different sources such as households, industries, agriculture, commercial spaces and other human activities, and pose significant environmental and public health risks. Thus, effective solid waste management is a necessity.

As per UNICEF, solid waste is categorized into two: Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable waste. Biodegradable waste includes kitchen waste, agricultural waste, human and animal waste, which can be decomposed by the biological action of living microorganisms. However, non-biodegradable wastes are those which cannot be decomposed biologically. It includes plastic, metal, glass etc. This is the reason why non-biodegradable waste management using different technologies and solutions have assumed greater importance today.

Waste is one of the biggest challenges faced by the world today, and the future of solid waste management depends on every single individual. Although government authorities, leaders of the nations, municipalities and local communities are working hard to manage the extensive amount of waste generated every day, a radical change in mindset at an individual level is the need of the hour.

On a broader note, improper waste disposal and management, which includes public littering, lack of waste segregation, uncontrolled collection and disposal and poor waste treatment practices, have greatly impacted the world. According to a World Bank report, 2.01 billion tons of municipal solid waste is generated every year across the world, out of which it is estimated that 33% is not managed properly, impacting the environment.

According to estimates, approximately 60 million tonnes of garbage is generated every day in India. To make matters worse, 75% of the garbage, which is around 45 million tonnes, is disposed off in the landfills without proper treatment. If the existing waste generation rate continues, experts believe that India will need close to 66,000 hectares of land, for dumping waste. Moreover, improper solid waste disposal can cause pollution, spread diseases and pose risk to public health. Thus, the current situation is quite alarming and better solid waste management practices and innovative solutions are the need of the hour.

Wastewater treatment plants are used across the world to treat the extensive amount of wastewater generated every day. The main aim is to protect the public from health hazards caused due to untreated wastewater. Moreover, wastewater treatment is essential to prevent environmental pollution. Biological wastewater treatment is the most important process at any treatment facility where living microorganisms play a vital role in degrading organic waste. Among the various components of the system, MLSS is an operational control parameter that needs to be optimized for best treatment results.

India is one of the most populous countries in the world with high population densities in rural areas and urban cities. As a result, human waste treatment and management have become one of the major challenges faced by the country today. According to reports, less than 30% of the population in India have access to safe sanitation facilities. The majority of households in rural areas practice open defecation, which threatens to cause various diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, hepatitis, dysentery etc.

The rapidly growing population, urbanization and changing consumption patterns in India has led to the generation of vast quantities of solid waste. As per the Swachhata Sandesh Newsletter released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in January 2020, 1,47,613 metric tonnes of solid waste is generated per day, from 84,475 wards across India. The existing process for collection, transportation and disposal, as part of municipal solid waste management, is under undue stress. Thus, improper solid waste disposal poses a great risk to public health.

The petrochemical industry is one of the fastest growing industries which contributes significantly to the growth of world economies. However, different refinery activities such as equipment cooling and desalting which involves water results in the generation of effluents. Also, an extensive amount of hazardous waste consisting of organic and inorganic compounds are left behind, which needs treatment. 

It is crucial to examine what goes into our waste water, and know and understand where it goes once it leaves our home. It is time to start examining what we put in our cleaning products and how toxic the waste water we create is. Because the health of our waterways, oceans and all the living beings depends on it.